House Passes Mobile Home Legislation

The full House of Representatives passed out HB 4054 this week, a bill that makes changes to the Mobile Home Commission Act.  HB 4054 is a reintroduction from last year by Rep. Andy Schor in an effort to address a situation that occurred in his district with the Life O’Riley Mobile Home Park. This legislation requires the DEQ to outline clear roles for local units of government and enforcement (a problem that occurred with the Life O’Riley mobile home park that ended being condemned and residents forced to seek housing elsewhere). In addition, there are more reporting requirements of the DEQ to local units of government of rules promulgated or when a mobile home is found to be in violation.

The League is supportive of this legislation.

Nikki Brown is a legislative associate for the League handling economic development and land use issues.  She can be reached at nbrown@mml.org or 517-908-0305.

Senate Passes Pneumatic Guns Legislation

This week the full Senate passed  SB 85 (sponsored by Sen. Hildenbrand, R-Lowell), a bill to include pneumatic guns (i.e. paint ball guns) in the list of pistols or other firearms that local units of government currently cannot tax, regulate ownership of, registration of, sale/transfer/possession and transportation of (PA 319 of 1990).

The legislation does allow a local unit to regulate the possession of a pneumatic gun in someone under the age of 16 unless it is on their private property as well as allow a local unit to prohibit discharging of a pneumatic gun in heavily populated areas.

The League is opposed to this legislation.

Nikki Brown is a legislative associate with the League handling economic development, land use, and municipal services issues.  She can be reached at nbrown@mml.org or 517-908-0305.

Urban Livestock Workgroup Recommendations Released

Last year, the Michigan Commission of Agriculture changed the siting Generally Accepted Agricultural Management Practices (GAAMPs) to provide for a more clear distinction of local control for urban/suburban settings.  That created a lot of concern in the “urban farming” community and because of that Sen. Joe Hune asked the Michigan Department of Agriculture to pull together a stakeholder work group to come up with recommendations that could be either changed within the department or acted on by the legislature.  That workgroup was pulled together and began meeting in September of last year.  The workgroup has concluded and has released its recommendations document. There were 5 recommendations:

  1. The ULW (Urban Livestock Workgroup) recommends the development of an Urban Agriculture Act to address, stimulate, and support local efforts and interest in raising livestock in urban/suburban areas.
  1. The ULW acknowledges the interconnection of raising livestock and plants. The ULW recommends that the Urban Agriculture Act require the development of guidelines for urban/suburban agriculture.
  1. The ULW recommends that the Urban Agriculture Act give authority to develop, and approve guidelines for urban/suburban agriculture to the Michigan Commission of Agriculture and Rural Development.
    1. Through the appointment of a group with diverse representation of race, gender, age, and geographic location across Michigan and at least one member from each of: local government, state government, academia and urban/suburban producers to develop, review, and recommend guidelines.
    2. The guidelines would be approved on annual basis for the first five years and at least on a biennial basis in the years that follow.
    3. And the Commission is also empowered to review and approve guidelines on an “as needed” basis.
  1. The ULW recommends that the Urban Agriculture Act provide for local zoning authority over agriculture in urban/suburban areas.
  1. The majority of the ULW recommends that the bill to establish the Urban Agriculture Act be introduced during the 2015/2016 Legislative session.

The Michigan Department of Agriculture, MSU Extension, and city of Muskegon will be presenting on this topic during the League’s Capital Conference session so be sure to attend to learn more.

Nikki Brown is a legislative associate for the League handling economic development and land use issues.  She can be reached at nbrown@mml.org or 517-908-0305.

House Committee Reports Out Online Notice Legislation

Last week the House Local Government Committee voted out HB 4183, legislation that would phase out the newspaper publication requirement for public notices and transition the notices to the Internet.  This is a re-introduction from last session.

HB 4183 creates a tiered system for legal notices and phases them out over time. The legislation is vague, but the least “serious” notices would be considered Tier C. Tier A would include those notices that deal with property and finances.  Because these tiers are not defined in law, there is confusion as to what constitutes Tier A, B or C.  We are working to put together a document to explain each one and will push that out as soon as it is available.

There is a 10 year phase out of print publication notices and phases in online notices over that same period of time.  Tier A’s are posted in the newspapers the longest as they deal with property loss, taxes, etc.  Each 5 years the tiers are stepped down to the next level, removing one print publication notice, until they are all online by 2025.

The legislation allows local electors to hold a referendum to require continued publication in a newspaper. It allows local units to enter into contracts with media outlets for publication on their websites. The bill also requires archiving of public notices for five years.

Nikki Brown is a legislative associate for the League handling economic development, land use and municipal services issues.  She can be reached at nbrown@mml.org or 517-908-0305.

Pneumatic Gun Legislation Passes Senate Committee

This week the Senate Judiciary committee passed  SB 85 (sponsored by Sen. Hildenbrand, R-Lowell), a bill to include pneumatic guns (i.e. paint ball guns) in the list of pistols or other firearms that local units of government currently cannot tax, regulate ownership of, registration of, sale/transfer/possession and transportation of (PA 319 of 1990).

The legislation does allow a local unit to regulate the possession of a pneumatic gun in someone under the age of 16 unless it is on their private property as well as allow a local unit to prohibit discharging of a pneumatic gun in heavily populated areas.

The League is opposed to this legislation.

Nikki Brown is a legislative associate with the League handling economic development, land use, and municipal services issues.  She can be reached at nbrown@mml.org or 517-908-0305.

Mobile Home Legislation Passes Out of House Committee

The House Regulatory Reform committee passed out HB 4054 this week, a bill that makes changes to the Mobile Home Commission Act.  HB 4054 is a reintroduction from last year by Rep. Andy Schor in an effort to address a situation that occurred in his district with the Life O’Riley Mobile Home Park. This legislation requires the DEQ to outline clear roles for local units of government and enforcement (a problem that occurred with the Life O’Riley mobile home park that ended being condemned and residents forced to seek housing elsewhere). In addition, there are more reporting requirements of the DEQ to local units of government of rules promulgated or when a mobile home is found to be in violation.

The League is supportive of this legislation.

Nikki Brown is a legislative associate for the League handling economic development and land use issues.  She can be reached at nbrown@mml.org or 517-908-0305.

House Committee Takes Testimony on Online Public Notice Legislation

This week, the House Local Government Committee took testimony on HB 1483, legislation that would phase out the newspaper publication requirement for public notices and transition the notices to the Internet.  This is a re-introduction from last session.

HB 4183 creates a tiered system for legal notices and phases them out over time. The legislation is vague, but the least “serious” notices would be considered Tier C. Tier A would include those notices that deal with property and finances.  Because these tiers are not defined in law, there is confusion as to what constitutes Tier A, B or C.  We are working to put together a document to explain each one and will push that out as soon as it is available.

There is a 10 year phase out of print publication notices and phases in online notices over that same period of time.  Tier A’s are posted in the newspapers the longest as they deal with property loss, taxes, etc.  Each 5 years the tiers are stepped down to the next level, removing one print publication notice, until they are all online by 2025.

The legislation allows local electors to hold a referendum to require continued publication in a newspaper. It allows local units to enter into contracts with media outlets for publication on their websites. The bill also requires archiving of public notices for five years.

Nikki Brown is a legislative associate for the League handling economic development and land use issues.  She can be reached at nbrown@mml.org.

Senate Announces Committee Assignments

The Senate has announced the committee assignments for the 2015/2016 session.  Here is a list of the committees we work with on a more regular basis (D’s in italics).

  • Commerce – Schmidt (chair), Kowall (vice chair), MacGregor, Nofs, Hertel
  • Economic Development & International Investment – Horn (chair), Schmidt (vice chair), Brandenburg, Stamas, Emmons, Smith, Bieda
  • Elections and Government Reform – Robertson (chair), Colbeck (vice chair) Emmons, Shirkey, Hood
  • Energy and Technology – Nofs (chair), Proos (vice chair), Horn, Schuitmaker, Hune, Shirkey, Zorn, Hopgood, Knezek, Smith
  • Local Government – Zorn (chair), Proos (vice chair), Brandenburg, Rocca, Young
  • Regulatory Reform – Rocca (chair), Jones (vice chair), Knollenberg, Kowall, Marleau, Hune, Warren, Hertel, Johnson
  • Transportation – Casperson (chair), Horn (vice chair), Pavlov, Marleau, Hopgood
  • Appropriations: General Government – Stamas (chair), Nofs (vice chair), Booher, Young
  • Appropriations: Transportation – Hansen (chair), Knollenberg (vice chair), Young

For a full list of the committees and their membership, click here.

The House is expected to announce their committee assignments later this week.

Nikki Brown is a legislative associate for the League handling economic development and municipal services issues.  She can be reached at nbrown@mml.org or 517-908-0305.

HAM Radio Legislation Passes Senate

Today SB 493, a bill dealing with amateur radio operations, passed the full Senate.  As it was introduced, it had a significant impact on local control and zoning.  However, through a workgroup process, the bill was made significantly better (substitute found here: SB 493 S2 (3)) and now mirrors the Federal regulations that our local communities are already required to adhere to.

It also discusses an advisory council made up of amateur radio industry folks and local government folks so anyone with a question can seek feedback and research from this group either at the industry level or the community level.

We appreciate the work the bill sponsor and his office put into the legislation and hearing our concerns from a local government perspective. Also, a big thank you to Tim Wolff, village manager of Lake Isabella, for attending the workgroup meetings with me and providing valuable feedback.

Nikki Brown is a legislative associate for the League handling economic development and land use issues.  She can be reached at nbrown@mml.org or 517-908-0305.

Governor Signs Michigan Investment Market Legislation

HB 5273, a bill dealing with Michigan investment markets, was signed into law this week (PA 355 of 2014)!  This new law would give businesses and residents in Michigan the ability to become broker-dealers to create a market (online or in person) through which intrastate stocks can be listed, bought, sold and resold. Those interested in purchasing stock from local companies would have easy access to the listings of all the companies on the exchange and show these potential investors that there is indeed a market for what they may be purchasing.  Exchanges must apply and be registered with the state as well as follow rules of operation laid out in the legislation which will provide security for all those participating, both the businesses and the investors.

This is the next progression from the MILE/crowdfunding legislation that was passed earlier this year and we are thankful to Rep. Jenkins for working so diligently to help small businesses in our local communities grow and prosper.

Nikki Brown is a legislative associate for the League handling economic development and land use issues.  She can be reached at nbrown@mml.org or 517-908-0305.